Robin's Adventures

Adventures in the Mediterranean and Middle East
Running through Ruins

More Knossos

One of the rooms uncovered during the excavation at Knossos was the throne room. There is a throne against the north wall, made of alabaster, and gypsum benches line the other three walls. On one wall is a fresco which has a couple of griffins.

The fresco outside the queen's chamber was an ocean theme with dolphins. Frescoes were made by painting the general outlines and background colors on wet plaster and painting the details after the plaster had dried.

As we were leaving the ruins, we saw a couple of peahens wandering around the grounds. They kindly posed for pictures

At Sea

While enroute from Crete to Malta we had an "at sea" day. The weather was a bit rainy, so we stayed inside and worked on jigsaw puzzles. The view out our window was breathtaking and the day was quite relaxing.

Pumpkin Carving

Since it was almost Halloween, two of the chefs decided to entertain us with a pumpkin carving demonstration. The results were amazing, especially since they worked without a pattern.


Valletta, which is the capital city of the island country of Malta, is built on a peninsula between two natural harbors. The city has many Baroque palaces and churches, as well as an assortment of interesting fortifications.

Throughout the city there are statues and fountains and many buildings are adorned with elaborate coats of arms. We enjoyed wandering through the city center which was filled with quaint shops and inviting cafes.

Mosta Dome

Mosta Dome, which was built between 1833 and 1860, is a Catholic church with a large rotunda topped by a 122 foot diameter dome. The miracle of the dome, however, was that a 441 pound bomb fell through the dome during an air raid in World War II.

The bomb failed to detonate and all 300 people attending mass at the church were unharmed. The detonator was later removed from the bomb and a replica was put on display at the church.

Fortified City of Mdina

Mdina, which was formerly the capital city of Malta, is a 16th century walled city. It is noteworthy that nearly all of the city walls have survived to the present day with very little damage.


The Mdina Glass Factory, which was established in 1968, is noted for their production of colorful vases, bowls, and other works of art made from glass. Many of their items are made by artisans using traditional glass blowing techniques. We were able to tour their factory and observe the artisans at work.

We also visited a nearby jewelry shop and learned about the process of creating filigree.

Dingli Cliffs

The Dingli Cliffs, at about 830 feet above sea level, is the highest point on the island of Malta. The view from the cliffs is breathtaking and the deep blue Mediterranean Sea makes a pleasant backdrop for the terraced landscape that dots the surrounding countryside. The highest point is marked by the small Saint Mary Madgelene chapel that sits at the edge of the cliff.


One of the more unique elements of the architecture on Malta is the Maltese balcony. These colorful wooden box-like structures were originally built to provide a discrete way for women to view the outside world without the world looking back at them.

The balconies, however, also provide cool breezes on warm days and, because most homes in Malta do not have clothes dryers, they have become useful as a place to lay out wet laundry on a drying rack.

Whatever the purpose, the balconies add a great deal of color and character to the buildings in Valletta.

More Valletta

The decorative Baroque architecture of Malta can be seen in the style of the Government Palace and the Church of Saint Catherine.